Millennials financially confident but inadequately insured, says MetLife

Matt Lippiatt

Matt Lippiatt

The majority of millennials (92%) feel confident about their future financial situation but may be unprepared for the possibility of unemployment due to injury or illness. New research from MetLife reveals that six in ten (63%) millennials without an adviser and five in ten (54%) advised millennials could only maintain their current lifestyle for a maximum of six months if they suffered illness or injury.

The MetLife Adviser-Client Relationship Report 2018 examined attitudes to purchasing life insurance through a financial adviser, surveying current advice customers and potentials.

The MetLife Australia research found millennials, people aged 18-39, were the least prepared for the possibility of being unable to work compared with other age groups. Only one in five (20%) millennials without an adviser have seriously thought about it, compared to almost one in three (29%) of their advised peers.

Commenting on the findings, Matt Lippiatt, MetLife Australia Head of Retail Sales, said there was a clear mismatch between millennials’ level of confidence in their finances and their attitude to insurance.

“Millennials care about their life goals, they don’t care about insurance. They have a number of competing financial priorities – reducing education debt, paying rent or a mortgage and starting a family,” he said.

“What is clear from these findings is that while millennials believe they are planning well for the future, many are struggling to make the connection to insurance and how it can guarantee everything else they want to do in life.”

When deciding to actively review their insurances through a financial adviser, MetLife Australia’s research found the top three triggers for millennials were purchasing a property or increasing their mortgage, wanting to protect their family and being referred by someone they know.

A digital experience is important to this generation, with 74% open to completing an online form before seeing an adviser. However, among the advised millennials, trust is still an important factor. Over a third (37%) will conduct their own insurer research after a recommendation from an adviser by visiting the insurer’s website and reading online reviews.

“Faster, experience-oriented service providers have come in and disrupted other industries, and in turn they’ve changed customer expectations when it comes to insurance,” Mr Lippiatt said.

“Millennials are looking for an experience that is quick and easy, and those insurers and financial advisers who can offer digital services and transactions are likely to be the ones that most appeal to this demographic.”

Mr Lippiatt said while the research showed advised millennials were better prepared for the possibility of illness or injury, many were still inadequately insured.

“Our research shows a clear opportunity for financial advisers to have deeper conversations with younger clients about their life goals and insurance needs and we know from our research, that millenial consumers want to hear regularly from their adviser too,” he said.

MetLife Australia recently launched MetLife Protect, a modular life insurance product enabling financial advisers to meet the needs of SMEs and families. The product is designed to be tailored and flexible over time to meet specific and evolving individual needs.

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